When you plan to do a DIY condo or home painting, bear in mind the 60-30-10 rule of designers. Usually they choose a 3-color palette for a room makeover to create a balanced look. Then you can achieve a cohesive look without being too matchy-matchy:
- 60% comes from the dominant wall color and big furniture pieces,
- 30% can be from accent furniture pieces, lighting or soft furnishings,
- 10% are home accessories, textiles, patterns, or textures.
There’s no hard and fast rule with the numbers. Remember that this is just a guideline so don’t be too strict with yourself! Just remember that the 60% is the main color that you want to build your palette from, so you better make sure that this is a color you love!
Above are tools you can use in your choice of colors. You can buy a color wheel like the one in the foreground in any art shop. There’s also a great primer from Lifehacker which can help you understand color theory much better, including monotones.
When you think about the 30%, go back to your color wheel, and use that to guide you in the choice of colors. Each segment you see on the color wheel are the tints, tones, shades of a certain hue. In other words, you don’t have to use the exact same color for your smaller furniture or furnishings like curtains, but you can use the different colors found in the same color family.
Here are some definitions used by colorists to help you understand color and color families:
Hue – the purest or brightest form of a color
Tint – the hue + white
Tone – the hue + true grey
Shade – the hue + black
Samples of the 60-30-10 Rule
60% is white which comes from the color of the walls, window casings, the table top and chairs
30% is brown which comes from the curtains, under window cabinets, wooden floor, table legs and chair
10% is the yellow which comes from the throw and the flowers
60% is white which comes from the color of the walls, ceilings, cabinetry and window casings
30% is blue which comes from the island base, accent wall, backsplash, and chairs
10% is the dark grey from the marble countertop, gun metal of the appliances and cabinet pulls. Note how the dark grey is echoed in the mosaic tiles of the backsplash
60% is dark green which comes from the color of the walls (Love the drama of this room!)
30% is dark grey which comes from the sofa
10% is the yellow which comes from the cushion, the gold of the lamp stand which is echoed by the mirror frame
60% is white which comes from the color of the walls, ceilings, area rug and mirror frame
30% is brown which comes from the wooden floors, center table and dining room table top and ladder
10% is the dark grey and black which comes from the accent wall, pendant lamp, TV, and the print in the rug
60% is cream which comes from the color of the walls, floor, bathtub and stones
30% is grey which comes from the textured concrete wall (The product Konstrukt being recommended above is not paint but one of Boysen’s construction chemical products for surface preparation. It can be used as is or can be painted.)
10% is the organic tones of brown and green from the ladder, soap dispensers and plant
Feel brave enough to borrow the 60-30-10 rule of interior designers for your own DIY condo or home painting? If yes, do send photos of your room to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a small condo, you may want to read up on Tips on How to Use Paint to Make Your Condo Look Bigger. Then you can use this 60-30-10 rule. Good luck!
Feature image by Dan Gold on Unsplash